Earlier this year, both countries persuaded the US not to apply the death sentence, if the prisoners were found guilty.
'A lot of the debate in Australia seems to have proceeded on the basis that if you're arrested for something overseas you can demand that you be brought back to Australia to be tried. That's not true,' he said.
But Mr Howard said Australia had made 'some progress' with the US and would continue to discuss the trial of the prisoners.
I do not know anyone who claims that Australians arrested overseas have a right of repatriation. I do know many people who wonder why Australians arrested in a coalition operation cannot be tried in Australia.