I reckon if he was only following his orders the court would have taken that into account, seriously, the conduct of war is something the courts arent looking to prosecute people for.
Death squads operate outside the normal "rules of war", yes, yes, I know it can seem ridiculous to suppose there are rules to war but in any case there are always permissable and impermissable actions, even in this, its how there come to be war criminals.
I heard a very good podcast recently which described how US soldiers in modern combat theatres where expected to act as moral agents and refuse to follow illegal orders, ie if they are ordered to fire upon unarmed civilians they are expected to refuse to do so. Now its verry complex, and also to do with liability and fall out from things such as the torture and humiliation photos from a while back featuring Iraqis and US armed forces, but there's still the expectation.
It flies in the face of much of the command performance which is drilled into soldiers during training I suspect and I've even heard civilian commentators say that they dont want or think its feasible for soldiers to be ruminating on the justice of their actions while fighting a war.
Returning to this case, I'm glad that no matter how many years after the fact that peoples sins are finding them out, I dont think its whinning and I can understand people having a long memory.