Belgian authorities are chasing three more escaped prisoners, bringing the total to 12 over the past two weeks.
The justice ministry says the three escaped from the Palace of Justice courthouse in central Brussels early Tuesday when two armed men burst into a court hearing and took them with them.
Two weeks ago, three convicts broke out of a high-security prison near Bruges when a helicopter flew into the compound to take them away. Last week, six prisoners escaped from a prison near the port city of Antwerp by scaling the wall with a ladder.
In all, five have been caught again, but seven remain at large.
The prison escapes have heaped embarrassment on the government of Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy.