Ex-finance minister remains an active MK

MK Avraham Hirchson (Kadima) may have been indicted Wednesday morning, but his legal woes did not stop him from showing up in the Knesset later in the day. The shadow of the active criminal investigation into the former finance minister has not quieted Hirchson's Knesset activity. Hirchson, who resigned as finance minister in spring 2007 under intense pressure due to the criminal investigation against him, has been present at almost every major plenum event of the past two Knesset sessions, taking his seat in the Kadima bloc. The Olmert confidant has also sponsored four private bills since the beginning of 2008 and signed on to another seven. In comparison, during the first half-year following his resignation from the Finance Ministry, Hirchson did not sponsor or sign on to a single piece of legislation. In March, Hirchson proposed two bills - one offering reimbursement to polio victims and the other seeking to offer automatic citizenship to any person who serves in the IDF as an enlistee. Earlier in the winter session, he initiated another two bills: In January, he proposed doubling the allowance for Holocaust survivors, and one month later, he proposed an amendment to the Israel Lands Law regarding conditions for transferring ownership of land. According to Knesset rules, Hirchson can continue to serve as an active MK even following his indictment. As was the case with former Shas MK Shlomo Benizri, an MK can only be forced to step down from an active role in the Knesset once he or she is sentenced and found to have acted with criminal intent.