The Green Party has called for an independent inquiry into claims prisoners in Afghanistan were tortured when New Zealand SAS soldiers handed them over to other forces.

Metro magazine reported three incidents in which the SAS handed prisoners over, one in 2002 and the others last year.

Greens defence spokesman Keith Locke said: "There needs to be an independent judicial inquiry to test the claims made in the Metro article. Neither Labour nor National has given Parliament and the public straight answers on this issue."

He said official secrecy made it difficult to get the truth.