IT is an agonising wait for justice which the parents of Hannah Foster have had to bear since her killing.

Not only having to cope with the utter devastation of losing their eldest daughter, but Hilary and Trevor have had to endure a painfully slow legal process to bring the prime suspect in their daughter's murder back to the UK.

It was two-and-a-half years ago during a trip to India by the Fosters that Maninder Pal Singh Kohli was captured.

Thanks to the publicity their visit generated, Kohli was recognised and arrested, and extradition proceedings against him were started.

Since then some 100 court appearances have come and gone, 35 appeals lodged and still the family are no nearer seeing Kohli face justice.

As they approach the four-year anniversary of the death of their 17-year-old daughter, it once again falls to Hannah's parents to draw attention to the impossible situation.

It is a year that should have seen Hannah celebrate her 21st birthday, but that milestone was taken from her and her family when she was abducted, raped and strangled after enjoying a night out with friends in Southampton in March 2003.

This weekend Mr and Mrs Foster will make their third visit to India in a bid to put pressure on the authorities to speed up the process.

It is a trip that requires them to draw on every emotional reserve they have, but one they know they must do if they are to keep the promise they made to their daughter.

Mrs Foster, 50, said: "It has been four years since Hannah was murdered, there is only so much we can take. Emotionally we are getting near the end of our tether, we never imagined this process would take this long.

"We will keep this up, we have to. We made a promise to Hannah that we would find the man responsible for her murder. We are flagging, but we will do it."

Mr Foster added: "This is the most, the biggest thing in our lives. This has to end before we can move on."

The weariness of their battle just to start what will no doubt be a painful legal process in this country is etched on the couple's faces.

But when asked if more could or should have been done by way of government pressure or in diplomatic circles both here and in India, they refuse to single out anyone for criticism.

"We understand that they can only do so much to help us. The only way that we can push this forward is to do it ourselves. We were told very early on that this is entirely a matter that falls within the Indian jurisdiction.

"We went out there 12 months ago to raise the profile and draw attention to the fact that Kohli was still in custody. We never would have thought that 12 months later we would be making the same visit.

"There must be ways of making it go faster but we can't force people to do anything. It is entirely in the jurisdiction of the Indian authorities "It has to be fair, we want it to be transparent and of course we don't want any corners cut, but the time it is taking has to be a factor."

Mr Foster explains that because there is nothing to compare it with, the extradition process is simply being allowed to run its course.

"It has taken two-and-a-half years and we can't begin to get justice for Hannah. Four years later we are mentally and physically drained, but we, alone, are the ones who can push this forward."

Mrs Foster added: "We are up to at least 100 hearings now, certainly three figures, and some 35 appeals have been lodged. Even by Indian standards that is considered a lot. Then we have to endure bail applications, and one of the reasons that was cited was the fact the process is taking so long.

"It is not going to help to blame anybody, but it cannot be allowed to take this long. It is not fair on anyone.

"When the extradition started I thought there would be someone doing this, asking questions, campaigning, if you like, to bring him back here to face questioning. That was the idea I had. I never, ever thought that we would be so heavily involved in it."

Remarkably it is not just their own grief and a need for the criminal case to come to an end that the couple have in their mind.

Mr Foster, 56, said: "Everybody has to put it in their own perspective. It is obviously not a priority for the Indian courts. We have to make people see that from our perspective they have to take into account the lives of those involved, us and Kohli's.

"In a way I feel sorry for Kohli as he has been in prison for two years waiting, like us, for them to decide whether there is enough evidence to bring him back for questioning here. That is two years of his life he will never get back."

Their week-long trip will see them hold a press conference to try to galvanise public support to see the process come to a conclusion.

"We want to appeal to them on an emotional level. We need to continually raise the profile, that is all we can do. We felt such empathy from the Indian people last time," said Mrs Foster. They then plan to attend a High Court hearing where a judge will hear arguments surrounding the inclusion of evidence for the prosecution case that has been appealed against, and then counter appealed.

The couple, of Grosvenor Road, Southampton, will also attend a lower court hearing where the extradition process has been heard in Delhi before Chief Metropolitan magistrate, Kamini Lau.

Seeing Kohli face-to-face is something the couple are once again preparing themselves for.

"We are steeling ourselves. None of it is something we want to do but we know we must. It is no easier this time," said Mrs Foster.

And through all the technicalities of monitoring the legal process from afar and trying to convey their frustration through diplomatic channels, the couple and Hannah's sister Sarah, 18, still have to cope with getting through each day without Hannah there.

Mrs Foster said: "Everything is still focused on Hannah's death. Everything we read and hear is about the night she died. We want to focus on the happy times and we can't do this until all this is over.

"I need to get it all right out of my head and hope that the lovely memories come back."