But increasingly he became a thorn in the side of the new ruling elite surrounding Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as he wrote of his mounting concerns about the direction the world’s top oil exporter was taking under the young heir apparent.
It would cost him his life.
After two weeks of denials, Riyadh on Saturday finally acknowledged that the 60-year-old had died in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul after the journalist had entered the diplomatic mission on October 2.
The attorney-general said he was killed in a fight with Saudi officials, claims treated with widespread scepticism. Turkish officials have said Khashoggi was killed by a 15-man Saudi hit team that flew into Istanbul and dismembered the journalist’s body.