Disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the legal principle of being innocent until proven guilty was violated in the sex scandal that brought him down.

Strauss-Kahn told CNN he was still angry with the US justice system over his treatment in 2011 when he was paraded before TV cameras in New York in handcuffs, on charges of rape that were later dropped.

"I think it is a terrible thing, frankly," he said of his treatment by the United States during his May 2011 arrest after a maid at a posh hotel where he was staying accused him of raping her.

"The problem is that it's a moment where in all European, American society you are supposed to be innocent, you are supposed to be innocent until you are convicted," he said.

He added: "So what happens is you are just shown to everybody as if you were a criminal at the moment where nobody knows if it is true or not. Maybe you are a criminal and maybe you are not. But it will be proved later on."

Prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against the Frenchman because they said they doubted the credibility of the accuser, Nafissatou Diallo.

In December of last year they reached an undisclosed financial settlement to settle the civil aspect of the case.

But before that, in the whirlwind fallout right after his arrest, Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the IMF. The scandal also crushed his aspirations for running for the French presidency in 2012.

Strauss-Kahn said that at the time of his arrest he was angry because he did not know what was going on.

"I was just understanding that something was going on that I did not control," he said.

CNN broadcast an excerpt of a longer interview that is to air fully on Wednesday.

The network said it was Strauss-Kahn's first English language interview since the case hit the headlines in New York two years ago.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]