Saudi writer, editor and commentator

Born: October 13, 1958;

Died: October 2, 2018

JAMAL Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist killed aged 59 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, was for three decades a writer, editor, commentator and media adviser and an influential voice on Saudi affairs. Once close to the royal family and an adviser to the country's former intelligence chief, he latterly became a sharp critic of its young and ambitious Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman, for cracking down on opposition and miring the country in a conflict in neighbouring Yemen.

Born into a family of wealth and connections - he was the nephew of Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi and a cousin of Princess Diana's boyfriend, Dodi Fayed - he was a voice of moderation in a kingdom at war with terrorism in the aftermath of the September 11 2001 attacks in the United States.

He spent years explaining its policies to outsiders, but made himself unpopular at home, saying the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen would validate those who compared the kingdom's actions to what Russia and Iran were doing in Syria. He also was critical of Riyadh's diplomatic break with Qatar.

After Mr Khashoggi criticised the kingdom's celebration of Donald Trump's election as US president in 2016, a royal court official who was close to him advised him to stop tweeting and publishing stories, a sign that his opinion was no longer welcome. Mr Khashoggi went into a self-imposed exile, moving to Washington in 2017, writing regular columns for the Post and pursuing pro-democracy projects.

Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi was born in Medina in 1958 and graduated from Indiana State University. He began his career as a journalist in the 1980s, covering the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and the decade-long war that followed for the English-language daily, the Saudi Gazette. He covered Algeria's 1990s war against Islamic militants, the Balkan wars and the rise of Islamists in Sudan.

In his youth, according to one friend, he briefly joined the Muslim Brotherhood, the strongest organisation of political Islam in the region. He soon left it, however, wanting to remain outside organised groups, but throughout his life kept good relations with all sides. He was editor of Medina's Islamist-leaning paper for nine years.

While in Afghanistan, he interviewed Osama bin Laden before he became the leader of al Qaida. They later met again in Sudan in 1995.

He had a brief stint in 2003 as editor of a liberal Saudi paper, Al-Watan, founded after 9/11, and he was often quoted in the West as a reformist voice and expert on Islamic radicals. But, after two months, he was fired when the kingdom's ultra-conservative clerics pushed back against his criticism of the powerful religious police.

Mr Khashoggi served as media adviser to Turki Al-Faisal, the country's former spy chief, who was at the time the ambassador to Britain and then the United States.

He returned to Al-Watan in 2007, where he continued his criticism of the clerics as the late King Abdullah began cautious reforms to try to shake their hold. Three years later, he was forced to resign after a series of articles critical of Salafism, the ultra-conservative Sunni movement.

In 2010, he was asked to head the new Bahrain-based broadcaster Al-Arab, touted as a rival to the Qatari-funded Al-Jazeera, a harsh critic of the kingdom. But it was shut down hours after its launch for hosting a Bahraini opposition figure.

Friends recalled him as a devout Muslim who loved his homeland, an avid history buff and a humble man with a sense of humour, fond of video games, which he sometimes played while waiting to conduct an interview.

A first marriage that produced two sons and two daughters fell apart, and he told friends that it failed because of pressure from the Saudi government over his criticism.