Key Points:

The Solicitor General has delivered his opening address in the contempt hearing against Fairfax publications at the High Court in Wellington.

Proceedings relate to articles published in the Dominion Post and other Fairfax publications which reveal conversations recorded by police during last years Operation Eight terrorism investigation.

David Collins QC told the court that on November 14, the Dominion Post was well aware the 16 accused were not going to be charged under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

He says it was therefore illegal for the paper to publish evidence of intercepted communications.

A number of suppression orders have been place on the case in line with orders made at a depositions hearing which is going on in Auckland.

Protestors, including one of the accused, stood outside the High Court holding signs including "Mass Media Tells Mass Lies".