Putting rumours to rest, lawyer confirms Kelantan Sultan divorced his Russian wife in Singapore

Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V has divorced former Russian beauty queen Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko last month in Singapore according to Islamic laws. — Bernama pic
Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V has divorced former Russian beauty queen Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko last month in Singapore according to Islamic laws. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Kelantan’s Sultan Muhammad V has divorced former Russian beauty queen Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko last month in Singapore according to Islamic laws, his lawyers in Singapore confirmed today.

In a statement today, Eversheds Harry Elias said it was the law firm acting for the Kelantan ruler, before going on to confirm the facts surrounding the previously speculated divorce.

“Please be informed that HRH has irrevocably divorced Ms Rihana Oxana Gorbatenko on June 22, 2019 by 3 Talaqs in accordance with Syariah laws and the Kelantan Syariah Court has issued a Divorce Certificate dated July 1, 2019 in accordance with the Islamic Family Law Enactment 2002.

“On behalf of HRH, we request that his privacy be respected,” the law firm said in the statement, referring to the Kelantan ruler by the initials for His Royal Highness.

When contacted, the law firm’s partner Koh Tien Hua verified the statement as being issued by the firm.

The two were previously reported by UK news outlet Daily Mail to have married in an Islamic ceremony in June 2018, months before their public wedding in Moscow, Russia in November 2018.

Following the marriage in 2018, Sultan Muhammad V made the unprecedented move of abdicating as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on January 6, 2019, just two years and 24 days into his five-year term.

On June 4, Rihana had posted on her Instagram account regarding the May 21 birth of their son Tengku Ismail Leon Petra Tengku Muhammad V Faris Petra.

On July 10, Rihana described her son as the Tengku Mahkota Kelantan and expressed her hope that he would one day be the future Kelantan ruler.

On July 17, the Kelantan Palace reportedly announced that no one can be referred to as the Permaisuri of Kelantan, Raja Perempuan Kelantan, Sultanah Kelantan or the Queen of Kelantan without any official announcement from the palace.

The Kelantan Palace also listed the official list of Kelantan royalty with the following titles: “Yang Teramat Mulia Tengku Muhammad Fa-iz Petra Ibni Sultan Ismail Petra is the Tengku Mahkota of Kelantan and His Highness Sultan Muhammad V’s mother, Yang maha Mulia Tengku Anis binti Almarhum Tengku Abdul Hamid is titled Raja Perempuan Tengku Anis.”

Rihana, now 27, and her child was not listed in the Kelantan Palace’s list.

News reports speculating about the divorce had already surfaced prior to the announcement by the Kelantan Palace.

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