Vice President Cristina Kirchner denies allegations and says prosecutors, who sought 12 years in jail and a politics ban, have already "written the sentence."

"It's not a trial against me, it's a trial of Peronism, of the national and popular governments," says Cristina Kirchner. (AFP)

Argentinian Vice President Cristina Kirchner has launched a long and politically charged defence against corruption charges, for which she could face 12 years in jail and a lifetime ban from politics.

Kirchner, 69, is accused of fraudulently awarding public works contracts in her stronghold in Patagonia.

She said on Tuesday in a live social media broadcast that her political ideology "Peronism" was on trial and that prosecutors had already "written the sentence."

"Nothing, absolutely nothing that they have said was proven," said Kirchner, a lawyer by trade who was president from 2007 to 2015 having succeeded her late husband, Nestor Kirchner.

It was during those three presidential terms that the alleged graft occurred.

"It's not a trial against me, it's a trial of Peronism, of the national and popular governments," she said, brandishing during her 90-minute speech excerpts from laws, press articles, emails and accounts.

"It is 12 years (of prison time requested), the 12 years of the best government Argentina has had in these last decades."

Kirchner was speaking from her office at the senate, where she is the president and for which she enjoys parliamentary immunity.

Even if convicted — the verdict is expected at the end of the year — she would not go to prison unless her sentence is ratified by the country's supreme court or she loses her senate seat at the next elections at the end of 2023.

READ MORE: Prosecutor accuses Argentina's VP Kirchner over fraud, seeks 12 years jail

Divisive political family

Kirchner has decided to mount her defence on social media after her request for an extra deposition was refused on Monday.

Several hundred supporters cheered her arrival at the senate on Tuesday, while others did the same as she left her home in an upmarket Buenos Aires neighbourhood.

And Justice Minister Martin Soria himself slammed the proceedings, saying "the lack of impartiality of the court and of the prosecutors has been exposed."

He accused them of having denied giving Kirchner the chance to "defend herself" by rejecting her request for additional testimony.

Such is her divisive nature that rival groups of protesters — those for and against her — congregated outside her home on Monday night after public prosecutor Diego Luciani requested she be sentenced to 12 years in jail and barred from politics for life.

Police were forced to intervene as tensions mounted.

Luciani hit out at "an authentic system of institutional corruption" which he said was "probably the biggest corruption operation the country has known."

On Tuesday, fellow South American left-wing former presidents, Bolivia's Evo Morales and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, expressed their support for Kirchner.

READ MORE: Argentina's Fernandez faces inflation protests by party supporters

Source: AFP