The mainland authorities will announce the verdict in the murder trial of Gu Kailai , the wife of disgraced Politburo member Bo Xilai , on Monday morning, a court official confirmed yesterday. "It's set for next Monday morning at 9 o'clock," a spokeswoman said by telephone from the Anhui Intermediate People's Court in Hefei , where the trial was held on August 9. She refused to give further details. During the seven-hour trial last week, prosecutors said Gu fed poison to 41-year-old British businessman Neil Heywood in a Chongqing hotel room in November, assisted by a family aide, Zhang Xiaojun , Xinhua reported. Gu and Zhang were charged with intentional homicide and they did not contest the charges. The most severe sentence for murder is death, but lawyers expect a lighter penalty after mainland media reported that Heywood had threatened Gu's only son, Bo Guagua , and blamed her actions on a mental breakdown. "During those days last November, I suffered a mental breakdown after learning that my son was in jeopardy," Xinhua quoted Gu as telling the court. Li Heping , a Beijing lawyer, said Gu would most likely receive a suspended death sentence or a life sentence. "The evidence is not important in this case but the politics is. The law is not making judgment, because Gu and her husband Bo are important political figures," Li said. Professor He Weifang , from Peking University's law school, agreed. "In China, all the legal issues eventually become political issues," he said. "Law has been used to decorate the political drama [going on] behind the scenes." Former Chongqing police chief Wang Lijun sought refuge in the United States consulate in Chengdu in February, triggering Bo's sacking as Chongqing party boss in March. Gu was publicly accused of the murder in April, the same month her husband was suspended from the Politburo and detained on accusations of violating party discipline. Zhang's verdict will also be handed down on Monday. Beijing lawyer Teng Biao said there was no clear law on the mainland on punishment of an accomplice to murder. But if Gu could escape the death penalty, it was also likely Zhang would receive a light penalty. Four police officers tasked with investigating Heywood's death admitted to covering up the murder at a separate trial in Hefei on August 10.