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Warren Commission Hearings: Vol. V - Page 267« Previous | Next »

(Testimony of Richard Edward Snyder)

Mr. Snyder.
accept it when he subsequently appeared, and insisted that is what he wanted to do.
The case had a--I might skip over the minor details, but it had a rather rapid denouncement, when the Soviet authorities, after having looked him over for a number of weeks, decided they did not want him as a citizen or resident of the Soviet Union. And when we subsequently learned, that is I learned, from my reporting to the Department, and correspondence with them, that Mr. Petrulli had been discharged from the Armed Forces some time earlier on, I believe, a 100-percent mental disability--the Soviet, I think it was the head of the consular section of the Soviet Foreign Ministry, called me into the Foreign Ministry one day and' said words to the effect that an American citizen Mr. Petrulli, has overstayed his visa in the Soviet Union, he is living here illegally, and "We request that you take steps to see that he leaves the country immediately."
I told the Soviet official that to the best of my knowledge Mr. Petrulli was not then an American citizen, he having executed a renunciation of citizenship before me.
The Soviet official said in effect, "As far as we are concerned, he came here on an American passport, and we ask that you get him out of here."
Well, again to end what was a long, involved and terribly time,consuming story at the time, it was determined by the Department that Mr. Petrulli's renunciation was null and void because he was not competent, and therefore he was an American citizen, and we shipped him home.
The Petrulli case, as I say, was very much in my mind when Mr. Oswald showed up.
Mr. Coleman.
After you sent the telegram, which is Commission Exhibit No. 910, to the State Department, I take it that the first word that you received from the State Department is a telegram which I have marked as Commission Exhibit No. 916.
(The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 916 for identification.)
Mr. Snyder.
Mr. Coleman.
Now, by paraphrasing, could you read the second paragraph of that telegram into the record?
Mr. Snyder.
"For your information, in the event that Mr. Oswald insists on completing a renunciation of his United States citizenship, the Embassy is precluded by the provisions of section 1999 of the Revised Statutes from withholding the right to do so without regard to the status of his application for citizenship which is pending before the Soviet government and without regard to the Petrulli case."
Mr. Coleman.
At the same time that you were notifying the State Department that Oswald had appeared, someone in the Embassy also sent a telegram to the Navy Department, didn't he, advising that Oswald, a former Marine, had appeared at the Embassy and stated that he was a radar operator in the Marine Corps, and that he had offered to furnish the Soviets the information he possessed on radar.
I have marked as Commission Exhibit No. 917 this telegram and ask you whether that is the telegram that went forth to the Navy Department.
(The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 917 for identification.)
Mr. Snyder.
I don't recall that I saw this telegram at the time. But I would say from the content of it, and the form, that it is clearly a telegram sent by the naval attache of the Embassy to his home office.
Mr. Coleman.
We also have had marked as Commission Exhibit No. 918 the telegram which the Navy sent in reply to Commission Exhibit No. 917.
(The document referred to was marked Commission Exhibit No. 918 for identification.)
Mr. Coleman.
Have you seen that before and can you identify that?
Mr. Snyder.
I do not recall having seen this telegram before; no, sir.
Mr. Coleman.
Now, sir; the next contact that you had with Oswald was by a letter dated November 3, 1959, which has been marked as Commission Exhibit No. 912, is that correct?
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