By Oliver Tree and Nicholas Edmondson

The trial of Gu Kailai, the wife of former Chinese political star Bo Xilai, has ended after only one day.

Prosecutors accused Kailai, and another man, of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood after the pair lured him into a hotel room in the Chinese city of Chongqing and poisoning him, Reuters reported.

Kailai's defense team did not contest the accusations, a court statement said, but instead her lawyers claimed that: "[Heywood] should bear a certain responsibility for the cause of his murder."

International media were barred from attending the trial by a heavy state security presence.

The court's deputy director, Tang Yigan, told Associated Press that the trial had ended but could not comment on when a verdict was expected.

Gu, 53 and Zhang Xiojun, 33, were accused of poisoning Heywood, who had close ties to the Bo family, following an argument over his alleged role in helping Gu siphon illicit funds worth £3.8bn to friends and family.

According to prosecutors, Heywood threatened to expose the dirty dealings unless he was given a bigger cut. That led to his murder, said prosecutors. Friends claimed that he would have no part in illicit deals.

The brevity of the trial led commentators to predict swift convictions for the pair. Sentences could range from 10 years in prison to the death penalty - believed to be an unlikely sentence for someone of Gu's status.

Coverage of the case by the Chinese media has been strictly controlled, with the names of Gu and Bo being blocked on search engines, while bloggers claimed they were struggling to find any reports of the case.

The official Xinhua News Agency said: "The facts of the two defendants' crime are clear and the evidence is irrefutable and substantial."

The courtroom was strictly policed, with rows of officers standing outside and surrounding roads blocked to traffic.

Bo, former party secretary of Chongqing, has fallen from grace since Gu was named a suspect in April and he remains under internal party investigation. He is the first Politburo member to be removed from office in five years.