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Sultan of Kelantan has divorced Russian ex-beauty queen, Singapore lawyer confirms

Sultan of Kelantan has divorced Russian ex-beauty queen, Singapore lawyer confirms

Sultan of Kelantan Muhammad V (left) and his ex-wife Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko at their wedding. (Photo: Instagram / rihannapetra)

SINGAPORE: Sultan Muhammad V of Kelantan has divorced Russian-born Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko, the sultan's lawyer confirmed on Saturday (Jul 20).

The 49-year-old sultan "irrevocably divorced" Ms Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko by three Talaqs on Jun 22, said the sultan's lawyer, Mr Koh Tien Hua of Eversheds Harry Elias LLP in a statement.

The divorce, done in front of two competent Muslim witnesses, was in accordance with Syariah laws, he added. He would not comment on where the divorce took place.

“The Kelantan Syariah Court has issued a Divorce Certificate dated 1 July 2019 in accordance with the Islamic Family Law Enactment 2002,” the statement said.

The Kelantan palace has not commented on the divorce, nor the marriage, despite several media reports last week on the matter citing anonymous sources.

Ms Rihana, 26, had refuted they were divorced and put up on Thursday a video on Instagram which had them professing their love for each other.

However, Mr Koh said that Ms Rihana has been informed of the divorce by her Russian lawyer.

The former Malaysian King reportedly married the former beauty queen last year. Ms Rihana is said to have given birth to a child in May.

Mr Koh added: "There is no objective evidence as yet as to the biological father of the child.

“On behalf of HRH Sultan Muhammad V, we asked that his privacy be respected.”

In an Instagram post last week, Ms Rihana wrote: “My son Ismail Leon, the Crown Prince of Kelantan, and if God Wills it, the next King of Kelantan.”

On Tuesday, the Kelantan state palace said no individuals can be referred to as the state’s queen or sultanah without any official announcement.

In a statement, the palace stressed that the brother of Sultan Muhammad V, Tengku Muhammad Faiz Petra, was the Crown Prince. Their mother Tengku Anis Tengku Abdul Hamid was the Queen.

“Only official announcement from Kelantan Palace can be taken into account as accurate and acceptable news by the people and media practitioners.” said the statement issued by the comptroller of the royal household.

“The Palace calls for the people and media practitioners not be easily influenced by the dissemination of unverified information on social media.”

In January, Sultan Muhammad V, in an unprecedented move, stepped down as Malaysia’s king.

His unexpected move triggered an election among the royals. Under the country’s constitutional monarchy, one of the nine Malay rulers or sultans will ascend the federal throne to become the king for a five-year term.

Pahang's Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was elected as king.

Source: CNA/hm/aw

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